National WIC Association

July 15, 2020

As Dietary Guidelines Process Evolves, Landmark Nutrition Recommendations for Pregnancy, Infancy Must Remain Science-Based

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Natalie Moran

Email: nmoran@nwica.org

 

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) issued a comprehensive scientific report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is a significant step in the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:

“The National WIC Association applauds the work of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) requires the utmost diligence, as the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are issuing the first national nutrition recommendations for pregnancy, lactation, and infancy. As the DGAs are finalized in the coming months, the process must remain driven by the science and free from external or political influences.

“As nutrition professionals supporting new parents, WIC providers know well that these life stages require unique nutrition guidance to help shape lifelong eating habits and support long-term growth of the child. The National WIC Association strongly supports this life stages approach and remains committed to building the evidence base for thorough recommendations grounded in nutrition science. The DGAC Report demonstrates that additional research is necessary to more fully comprehend the healthiest diets in pregnancy and infancy through 24 months. Congress must increase its investment in nutrition research – especially for these unique life stages.

“The DGAs inform the administration of federal nutrition programs and have assumed an integral role in tailoring the foods available to WIC shoppers. The National WIC Association led the nutrition community in obtaining an independent scientific review of the WIC food package, aligning WIC-eligible foods with the DGAs and leading to tangible improvements in health outcomes for young children. The inclusion of life stage recommendations in this iteration of the DGAs supplements the most recent independent review of WIC foods by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in January 2017, building the strong evidence base for improvements to the WIC food package that will enhance the dietary quality and range of healthy foods available to WIC families.

“Every day, WIC providers see the profound impact of healthy eating and tailored nutrition support for pregnant women, mothers, babies, and young children. WIC’s science-based nutrition intervention – informed by the DGAs – improves birth outcomes and leads to healthier children. As USDA and HHS finalize this iteration of the DGAs, NWA will fully participate in the public comment process to ensure that the ultimate recommendations remain consistent with science-based evidence and provide strong guidance for the unique life stages served by WIC.”